Smoking During Pregnancy Causes Child’s Obesity During Adolescence

The pregnant woman smoking subjects her unborn child to suffer from the excessive body weight in the future. However this unpleasant effect is likely to appear in the adolescent age of the child. This shocking information was received by Canadian scientists having carried out the experiment which results are published in Archives of General Psychiatry.

“The influence of the cigarette smoke on the fetus inside the womb of the smoking pregnant woman is a well-known factor of the child developing obesity being a teenager. But the mechanism of this process has been unknown until the present days. It is likely to be that the reason for putting on weight is the preference of fatty and sugary food which is partially regulated by the brain system of recompence.”- as stated by Toronto specialists in the press-release of the State Infant Hospital of Toronto.

The group of scientists studied the physiological state of 378 adolescents aged between 13 and 19 years old. All of them are students of Quebec state schools. The children were divided into two groups. The mothers of 180 children used to smoke while they were pregnant with them and 198 children were born to the mothers who never smoked during their pregnancy.

The influence of the cigarette smoke was considered to be enough for participation in the experiment if the mother used to smoke more than one cigarette a day during the second trimenon of their pregnancy.

The children from the first group were born in a smaller weight and received less milk during lactation. But later they developed a more significant figures of their body mass index. Some of them showed the results at the edge of obesity. They also showed the less brain volume and shrunk amygdaloid complex, which is known to be responsible for emotional reactions of a human. The scientists state that the small size of amygdaloid complex is affecting the eating habits causing the addiction to fatty and sugary food. In the normal state this organ restricts the amount of the fat consumed. The fatty food is directly connected with our emotional reactions. The fats define the taste of food and we feel happiness while having a tasty bite.

The influence of the cigarette smoke on the fetus may provoke the children putting on excessive weight as it alternates the food habits and preferences. This effect is conditioned by the changing of amygdaloid complex structure.


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